Caring for a loved one is never easy, especially if they are living on a fixed income. There are a lot of things to consider, from health insurance coverage to everyday indulgences to taxes. The good news is, with some handy budgeting tips, you don’t have to be a financial wizard to help your mother enjoy her life comfortably. Here are three helpful methods to get you started:
1. Don’t be shy about senior discounts:
Your parents have worked hard throughout their lifetime, and many stores and businesses know this. As a result, many retailers offer senior discounts on things like groceries and movie tickets. This can make going out more affordable. It may only be a few dollars here and there, but it adds up over time. Just be sure that your parents always have valid IDs on-hand in case a clerk asks for age verification.
2. Have a fixed budget in place:
Expenses change as we get older, which means that your parent’s budget might need some fine-tuning. If they are comfortable with discussing finances, take the time to sit down with them to list everything they spend their money on daily, weekly and monthly, including doctor’s visits, a mortgage payment, groceries, monthly bills as well as an allowance for spending. This can help your loved ones plan out how they want to use their retirement funds – especially if they are saving up for a trip. As with anything else in retirement, it’s always best to be prepared. Although listing out a budget may not be the most glamorous task, it’s an easy way to help your parents achieve their financial goals.
3. Join AARP and apply for Social Security:
These programs are set in place to specifically help seniors save money and balance their budgets. Your parents should have started collecting Social Security between age 62 – 70, if they haven’t yet, they should. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is another excellent organization that helps seniors balance their budgets with discounts on hotels, insurance and food.
You want your loved ones to relax and enjoy their retirement, and helping them iron out a budget is important in achieving those goals. By assisting your parents in joining programs that work with retirees and sticking to a fixed financial plan, they can truly enjoy their life.